Cheers! Drinking During Pregnancy Maybe OK!?
Break out the bubbly! It's okay to drink lightly during pregnancy, says a new study, sending waves of relief through many surprise pregnancies.
This is of course not license to drink heavily -- as science has yet to report how much alcohol can harm your unborn baby. The study followed over 1,600 Danish women who self-reported how much liquour they consumed and then followed them again a few years later to see how their kids turned out. As long as they had less than nine drinks a week their kids turned out fine, says the study.
In five papers published in the BJOG journal, the authors report finding no effect of light, moderate or even binge drinking in pregnancy on children’s overall IQ, ability to pay attention or executive function, which involves self-control and the ability to organize and plan behavior, at age 5.
While the advice of doctors in North America has always been to totally abstain, women are often told they can have wine with dinner in Europe. The abstinence advice from doctors has made more than one woman guilty, especially if they got pregnant during the holiday season or summer months and didn't realize for a few weeks (no one I know, obviously...).
To this point, one of the Danish researchers on the study said:
We are not encouraging women to drink but we hope to reassure those who have been drinking in the early stages of pregnancy - maybe before they knew they were having a baby - that they don't need to worry about it.
One thing worth remembering is that the women kept track of their own drinking and that glass sizes and drink sizes differ between countries and even homes, so there may be some disparity in the amount of alcohol consumed. Also, genetics play an important role in how alcohol is metabolized in your body and this was a strictly Danish study.
But this study does seem to say that if you had a couple of drinks while you were pregnant -- you can let go of that guilt. And when the nosy neighbour gives you the eye because you are toting around half an ice cold beer this summer while sporting a baby bump -- you can hand her the study to keep her quiet.
Did you drink while you were pregnant? Does this study make you feel like you could have a drink while pregnant?
Want more chaos? Last year, I asked if bikinis on little girls are adorable or awful. Can you guess what I think?